poetry group at tableNo More Nagging Your Teenager!  I’m here to help: A College Essay Writing Workshop

The end result of this workshop: a clear, cohesive and compelling college essay BEFORE THANKSGIVING

Are your teenagers looking for help getting started on their college essays? Or perhaps have they written a draft and would like feedback so that it becomes the most concise, well-crafted essay possible?

Writing the College Essay can be one of the most intimidating aspects of the college application process. It’s a chance for students to show the admissions offices at colleges and universities who they really are; it’s a chance for them to highlight their unique qualities that may not come across through grades or test scores.

workshop shotThese workshops will help them fine-tune their writing and come away with a strong personal essay. They will write the essay themselves, but the workshop will help them come closer to a finished product about which they (and you) will feel proud.

Since the essay is a significant portion of the college application process, it benefits you and your teenager to put in the extra time and energy so that the writing can shine. Reviewers of these essays are looking for freshness. They are looking for focused, well-structured and original pieces of personal writing.Lemay

There is not one right way to write the essay. Showing that students can write, however, does matter. Their stylistic choices matter, their word choice matters, and their authenticity matters.

The Word Barn in Exeter offers both group classes (workshops) and one-on-one writing coaching sessions (also called workshops) to help students through this process. Meeting times will vary, depending on each individual. You and I and your teenager will come up with a schedule that works best for everyone. The Word Barn is a great space for writing and sharing ideas.

Session #1: (Tuesdays)

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7-9 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7-9 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7-9 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 3,  7-9 pm

Session #2: (Sundays)word barn ceiling

Sunday, Oct. 15, 3-5 pm

*note: no session on Sunday, Oct. 22

Sunday, October 29, 3-5 pm

Sunday, Nov. 5, 3-5 pm

Sunday, Nov. 12, 3-5 pm


Option One (Group Session: maximum 6 students per group)

This workshop will meet 4 times (2-hour sessions each)

Tuition for 4 sessions: $400

Note: a benefit of this option is that students can help each other – peer editing & group critiquing. Students may benefit from multiple perspectives. Under option one, they will also receive individual feedback from the instructor.

Option Two (Individual sessions)

Dates/Times/number of sessions varies

Tuition: $200 per session; 4-5 sessions recommended; 2-hour sessions; dates TBD

Note: a benefit of this option is that it will consist of private, one-on-one attention


Contact Sarah Anderson at thewordbarn@gmail.com or 603.244.0237


Sarah Anderson photoSarah Anderson is a published poet and a high school English teacher. She has a BA in English from Skidmore College and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, where she studied poetry. Before earning her graduate degree, she attended the New York Summer Writers Institute, The Breadloaf Writers Conference, and the Five Powers of Poetry Conference for Teachers. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including Hamilton Stone Review, The Oakland Review, Off the Coast, The Café Review, and December Magazine, and she was a recently a finalist in contest run by The Pinch Journal.

She has 14 years of high school teaching experience, both at private and public high schools. In addition to teaching teenagers, Sarah has run writing workshops for both adults and children. Before teaching, Sarah worked as a freelance writer, newspaper reporter, fact-checker, and an assistant to a literary agent.